Phillies 6, Giants 2: Kyle Kendrick continues to impress

Kyle Kendrick signed a two-year contract in February 2012. If he continues to pitch the way he has recently, he could be lining up another two-year deal in the upcoming offseason.

I was supportive of Kendrick's two-year deal when it was signed and despite some ups and downs in 2012 I remained steady in my belief that he had earned his role on the team. Last nigth in San Francisco Kendrick once again came up big on the mound by exhibiting a level of confidence that has been growing by the start this season. Kendrick tossed seven complete innings, allowing just two runs to the defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants and picking up his team-leading fourth win.

Kendrick was given some early run support as the offense once again had a solid night against Giants pitching. Their victim Tuesday night was Tim Lincecum, who continues to have some struggles on the mound in 2013. The Phillies got to Lincecum early, forcing him to throw over 30 pitches in the first inning. Kendrick took the mound already with a 1-0 lead and two more runs in the second inning gave Kendrick more wiggle room. San Francisco put the pressure on in the second inning with two runs, but Kendrick managed to avoid a big inning by keeping his composure on the mound and working out of trouble.

By the end of the night Kendrick had struck out six batters and scattered six hits. Michael Young pitched a clean eighth inning and Jonathan Papelbon closed things out in the ninth despite the save situation being wiped out when Ryan Howard smacked a solo home run in the top of the ninth inning to push the Phillies lead to four runs (6-2). Chase Utley hit his seventh home run of the season in the fifth inning as well while having a three-hit night.

Domonic Brown had a down night, going 0-for-5 at the plate with two strikeouts and missing on a dive for a ball in the field. Brown left three base runners stranded. Carlos Ruiz continued to struggle as well with his bat, going 1-for-5 and stranding five runners. Now in his second week back with the team, Ruiz is batting just .120.

The Phillies have now won the road series in San Francisco and look for a sweep this afternoon. Jonathan Pettibone will get the start, his fourth career start. The Phillies are 3-0 in his starts, and Pettibone is 2-0 with a 3.24 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. Can he come through with one more quality sart for the Phillies with the league starting to get some film on him? He will be faced by Barry Zito as the series concludes.

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